Augusta, Ga. — The expectation that the Augusta National golf club would do the right thing and avoid another wave of controversy over its male-only perception ended quickly here Wednesday.
The issue, which created great noise and no action back in 2003, when Martha Burke campaigned for female membership at the host of the legendary Masters Golf Tournament, emerged again recently when IBM named a woman as its chief executive. Most previous IBM CEOs have been Augusta members, and IBM is one of the main sponsors of the Masters.
There is no indication of whether Virginia Rometty has even asked for membership, although it is known that she does play golf. Nor is there a formal no-women policy at Augusta, just a track record of none having been admitted in 80 years.
With Augusta Chairman Billy Payne scheduled for his annual day-before-tournament news conference Wednesday, there was speculation that it would be a perfect opportunity for an announcement of Rometty's membership.